« הקודםהמשך »
main in heaven “ until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” This time of general restitution can be no other than that season of blessedness before noticed, which is prophecied of in Daniel (chap. xii. 12), and which will be proved to take place at the same time as the termination of this present period. It is that happy time so beautifully described by Cowper in his “Winter's Walk at Noon,” where he says:
“The time of rest, the promised sabbath, comes :
For man's revolt, shall with a smile repair." The Saviour himself, speaking of the manner of his second coming, says, “ Then shall they see the Son of man coming in A CLOUD, with power and great glory.”
At his first coming, which was to satisfy Di. vine justice, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to work out a righteousness in which guilty sinners might be saved, he came to suffer. He · was a root out of a dry ground-a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: there was no form nor comeliness in him; and his poverty was so great, that he could say, "the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” The royal house of David had thus been suffered to pass into obscurity and poverty, that He, in these his days of humiliation, might “in all things be made like unto his brethren; for it became him for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.”
But at his second coming the scene will be changed; he will then not come to suffer, but to triumph; he will come as he went—" in a cloud, with power and great glory.” What is meant by these words we must wait to see. The magnificent scene is thus described in the Revelation : “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood : and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. xix. 11-16).
The rule which he shall then exercise over the “ house of Jacob” as an united, no longer a divided nation, is very strikingly described in Ezekiel xxxvii. The Lord commanded the prophet to take one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions : then” to “take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions : and join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land : and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all .... And David my servant shall be king over them: and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children, for ever; and my servant David shall be their prince for ever."
David, in this place, as in many others, must refer to Christ; for it cannot mean David himself, who died and saw corruption, and has been succeeded in his kingdom by so many generations. Besides which, David throughout a great part of the Psalms speaks in the person of Christ as if he were Christ himself. Therefore the conclusion appears irresistible from such a cloud of evidence-from so many strong passages
in the Bible--that at the time of the resti. tution of all things Christ will take unto himself his great power, AND REIGN.
There appears no doubt but that Nebuchadnezzar's dream of “the tree whose height thereof was great, and reached unto heaven, and the sight to the ends of the earth; whose leaves were fair, and fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it,” to the end of the 4th chapter, represents the sovereignties of the world during the 2520 years during which Judah was deprived of the throne. And this appears confirmed by the frequent repetition of this very term “seven times,” which in this place is unquestionably chronological, and runs parallel with this “second application” of the “ seven times" of Leviticus xxvi.; for the moment in which Judab was dethroned, and lost its regal honours, that moment was Nebuchadnezzar, “the head of gold,” invested with them. When therefore the house of David again resumes the throne in the person of Christ, “ David's greater son,” and forms what has been the object of so many conquerors, from Charlemagne to Bonaparte, a fifth general monarchy, then will every other rule and authority cease, and men shall know that the Most High ruleth over all.
That the monarchs, in Nebuchadnezzar their head, are represented as insane during this long